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Robert Doran

  • Professor of French and Comparative Literature
  • Head for the French Program
    Head for the Comparative Literature Program

PhD, Stanford University; PhD, Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris III

414 Lattimore Hall
(585) 275-4251

Office Hours: Tuesdays and Wednesdays 7:45–8:45 pm, or by appointment



Robert Doran teaches courses on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French literature and culture, in particular on the novel, romanticism, Napoleon, existentialism, and Paris. He also teaches courses on continental philosophy and contemporary French thought. His current research concerns philosophical aesthetics, in particular the concept of the sublime, literary theory, early French cinema (especially Jean Renoir), intellectual history, and historical theory. He is currently working on two book projects: Revolutionary Aesthetics: The Sublime in Nineteenth-Century France and The Ethics of Art.

Research Overview

Courses Offered (subject to change)

  • CLT 389  Major Seminar (Fall 2017)
  • FR 230  French Social Thought (Fall 2013)
  • FR 232  Hugo's "Les Misérables" (Spring 2015)
  • FR 233  Realists and Romantics (Fall 2015)
  • FR 245  Revolution and Romanticism (Fall 2012)
  • FR 246  Dumas's "The Count of Monte Cristo" (Fall 2017)
  • FR 254  Camus and Sartre (Fall 2014)
  • FR 255  Sartre and Heidegger (Fall 2016)
  • FR 262  French Philosophy Since 1960 (Spring 2014)
  • FR 265  Aesthetics (Spring 2015)
  • FR 266  Balzac and Baudelaire in Paris (Fall 2013)
  • FR 267  Baudelaire: Poetry and Modernity (Fall 2016)
  • FR 268  Jean Renoir and Cinema (Spring 2017)
  • FR 269  Foucault and the Ethics of Theory (Spring 2017)
  • FR 281  French Cinema: 1930-1960 (Fall 2014)
  • FR 289  Philosophy of Art (Fall 2015)

Selected Publications


Journal Issues

Recent Articles

Recent Translations

  • Translator. "Rupture and Literary Creation in Jean-Paul Sartre [1968]." By René Girard. Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture, vol. 22, Spring 2015, pp. 1-16.
  • Translator. "Living with Others: Reciprocity and Alterity in Lévi-Strauss." By Marcel Hénaff. Rethinking Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009), edited by Robert Doran. Spec. issue of Yale French Studies, no. 123, 2013, pp. 63-82.
  • Translator. "The Future of the Novel [1957]." By René Girard. Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture, vol. 19, 2012, pp. 1-8.

Selected Invited Presentations

  • "On the Use and Reuse of History: Reading Hayden White's The Practical Past." Is Theory Critical? UCI Critical Theory, 22-23 May 2016, U of California, Irvine.